Don’t Believe the Hype!

It’s a shame that people still believe what they read or hear in the media, and it’s an even greater shame that the media still insists on portraying Second Life at best as a “place for people who don’t have a first life” and at worst as a virtual den of iniquity. Yes, it is a place where users can seek out and take part in all manner of unsavoury habits if they choose (just like the internet – or real life), but what the media refuses to highlight though are the random acts of kindness that the Second Life community choose to carry out.  Within hours of the Haiti earthquake, donation boxes started to spring up all over the Second Life grid, and only a few days after this terrible disaster, my avatar was sent the following invitation by the “Impossible in Real Life” group inworld:

The Chilbo community is hosting a benefit concert and block party to raise much-needed funds for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Please join us for an afternoon of music as we try to raise $100,000L to donate to American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. There will be two donation jars set up at the sandbox for your inworld contributions. However, you can donate directly to the organizations as it is urgently needed.

Donation websites:

www.redcross.org

www.doctorswithoutborders.org

Donate by mobile phone:

Text “HAITI” to 90999 on your cell phone to donate $10 (via American Red Cross)

Text “YELE” to 501501 to donate $5 (via Yele Haiti Foundation)

For a list of other organizations that are accepting donations, please visit:

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/impact/

Why we are doing this: As a virtual community that cares about its neighbors, we feel it is imperative to offer assistance to neighbors in need. Second Life is a global village, so the borders are not so far away. With your help, we hope to contribute to several of the charities that are assisting those in dire need. Please help us reach our goal to help the victims at this challenging time. Thank you.

A quick trawl through the Second Life search engine brought up a range of enterprises: shops where profits were no longer going to their owners but to disaster relief agencies, avatars who had made clothing displaying the Haiti Relief Fund logo , more up and coming fundraisers all dedicated to donating to a range of medical charities.  This amazing digital community had downed virtual tools and were pulling together from computers across the world to help where they could, and it made me feel proud of my fellow Second Lifers to see this. 

What’s the bet the media simply ignore this?

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